National and EU legislation will soon require the burden of proof to show that fisheries are NOT having a negative impact on fish stocks or the environment.
As data for fisheries in Welsh waters are comparatively data poor, there are some serious implications for current fishing practices. Our project aims to collect some spatially relevant data on the whelk fishery so that the fishery can continue into the future in a fair and sustainable way. Engagement with industry is vital. With the joint effort of scientists and fishers working together, this project has the best chance of producing representative data for a future stock analysis. This project will provide the industry with the data it needs to respond to, and partake in the management process.
Fish with a scientific pot!
Image: Whelk pot – Jodie Haig
We aim to provide fishers with two scientific whelk pots. Once a month we will collect the contents of a day’s fishing from these two pots along with a short, easy to fill out data sheet. For the remainder of the month the fisher will be able to fish the scientific pots as part of their gear.
Image: An example of the tags that have been trialed on whelks – Jodie Haig
This summer (2014) around 16,000 whelks were tagged off Swansea and in North Wales. This was part of two masters projects to estimate local whelk abundance, short term movment and fisheries statistics. Data is still coming in and the masters theses should be available on our website soon!
For more information about this research contact:
Dr Jodie Haig